"Quick 6" Snubbed by NFL

Courtney Smith has seen his life in flux ever since Hurricane Katrina roared into New Orleans. After the 2005 super-storm devastated his hometown of New Orleans, "Quick 6" has had to make his way through the world of high school and college football while always on the move. After finding a home at South Alabama it seemed he was on track for a smooth transition to the NFL, but it was not to be.

At the conclusion of the NFL draft this past weekend, most Jaguar fans were in amazement that Courtney Smith was not among those chosen in the annual rite of passage for college players ending their amateur careers. Smith had a stellar career for South Alabama in their initial two years of competition, catching 58 passes for 1,065 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 17 games. Nevertheless, Smith's draft weekend turned into a bitter disappointment, but Smith has faced uncommon adversity in the past.

He had grown up in one of the roughest parts of New Orleans, but things got rougher when Hurricane Katrina arrived. The John F. Kennedy High School attendee evacuated the city with his sister and ended up in Houston. The rest of his family, including his mother, stayed behind and were part of the people stranded in the Super Dome. Courtney was staying his cousin in Houston and was forced to start making decisions about his future by himself. With the help of his former coach, Courtney found his way to Prattville High School where his head coach, Bill Clark, would later become the defensive coordinator at South Alabama. That relationship would later assist him to find a college home as Alabama-Birmingham and Southeastern Louisiana turned out not to be good fits.

The 6'4" 220lb physical specimen was one of the more intriguing small college prospects in the pre-draft season. His late addition to the Senior Bowl and impressive first day of practice had all the experts talking. Unfortunately that was followed by more uneven performances the rest of the week. Smith seemed to have allayed many of concerns that developed over the Senior Bowl week, but that appears to not have been the case.

Complicating the process for him is the unsettled labor situation in the NFL. In ordinary years Smith would be mulling over offers from several teams right now, if not having already signed. The next step would be rookie minicamps in May and attacking the learning curve required of all NFL newcomers. However, this unusual situation means that Smith has even more confusion about his future. Obviously he will be staying in shape until his next opportunity appears, but what if the NFL season looks truly threatened? Should he look into the CFL? The UFL? Many more challenges await him than the usual rookie. But challenges are nothing new to this South Alabama star.

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